March 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting

chocolatecupcakeswithraspberrycream

I hope the cupcake aprons got you inspired to do some baking. For me, it wasn't enough to sew cupcakes, I needed to bake some, too. I tied on my apron, gathered ingredients and mixed up a batch.  Cupcakes remind me of my elementary school where on your birthday you would bring in a treat for the class. After every child had a cupcake at their desk, the birthday girl (or boy) would pick a friend and walk around the school bringing any extra cupcakes to teachers from years past. I have no idea if this was normal for elementary school or just an odd tradition at the school I went to.

I know that cupcakes became very trendy a couple years ago and although bakeries may have moved on to donuts or pie as the next big I still think of them as a fun occasional treat. They're not just for birthdays any more. Cupcakes are a light hearted, informal dessert that can be dressed up fancy or just simple and fun. Made with dark chocolate cake and a light but rich and creamy frosting these cupcakes bring a little decadence to any occasion. This recipe is perfect for sharing with a group of friends, but there is no obligation to give one to your teachers or every single person in your class, though I am sure they would enjoy them if you did.

chocolatecupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting
These cupcakes are best eaten within 24 hours of frosting since the topping is whipped cream and quite perishable. The cake recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book. 

3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
2 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 3/4 ounces (1 1/4 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
2 ounces (2/3 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
3 ounces (just under 1/2 cup) water

Preheat the oven to 350'. Lightly grease and flour 12 muffin cups (one muffin tin). With a stand mixer or beaters, mix the butter and sugars until they are fluffy and light, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it is all mixed. Add the eggs one at time, beating until each one is thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the yogurt and water and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until evenly moistened. Scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin tins and let cook on a rack.

For the Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream

1/3-1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Whip the cream until stiff. Stir in the raspberry jam until it is thoroughly combined with the cream.
More jam will give the cream a stronger raspberry flavor and be a bit sweeter. Start out with a smaller amount and keep adding until you like the taste.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, spoon, spread, or pipe with a pastry bag the raspberry frosting onto the cupcakes. Enjoy as soon as possible.

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